Archive for the ‘Ed Oakley’ Category

June 18, 2007

My Take on the Mayoral Election

I planned to move on and not weigh in on the Mayor’s race at all, since it became so nasty that I just wanted to win and be done with it. It’s going to take a lot to heal this city but after the council break next month we can get down to business and move forward.

More after the jump.

The most important issue: Tom’s status as the front-runner hurt, allowing Tom to focus on the south in Ed’s backyard and making Ed go negative.

I personally was offended that Oakley’s camp felt it was OK to target senior citizens and minorities with ugly mailers that were full of outright lies that twisted the facts.

The last mailer, which tried to make Laura Miller and Tom Leppert look like best buddies, was flat-out dumb. At the NAACP meeting (which I attended), Tom never said he supported strong Mayor…he said in so many words that “Dallas doesn’t need another city manager, we need a leader.” The video’s been on this site – Tom has said that many times and people knew it. It was quoted as “Dallas doesn’t need a manager” on the flyer…How third-grade class president is that? Also, Ed’s signing the Black Agenda at that meeting looked fake since some of the items are on the Black agenda because Ed killed certain plans and programs at City Hall.

Tom had done a lot of work before the May election, so when he made the run-off and Don Hill came in third much of the foundation was already laid.

In the south, the dirty mailers and the demolition of apartments plan really hurt more than helped. It looked hypocritical that Price backed Max Wells (R) and then tried to make the Mayor’s race Dem vs Republican. His “Ed has been with us for years” radio commercial made no sense. People also have long memories about votes that went against the wishes of the Black community (South Dallas Trust Fund, Block Grant project funding, redistricting).

The support of Dwaine Caraway, Barbara Mallory Caraway, Don Hill, and many well-known community figures gave Tom an additional ground team and presence. Like it or not, it can’t be disputed.

In the end, the partisan mailers made people stay home in the south instead of vote for Oakley. Ed spent more money saying that Tom’s bad than he did promoting his own message. Ed’s finger-pointing never registered because many people had already met Tom in the first go-round. They believed their own eyes instead of fear-mongering commercials.

His orientation hurt him with Blacks that are somewhat conservative in their beliefs, but not as much as the issues. Each time Tom got hit, he hit back but he did it with class.

A lot of people that I know that voted for Coats, Jordan, and Griffith in the north went Leppert because of the land ownership issues around the Trinity, too many tax abatements, and the Hollywood Doors situation. Ed’s conduct and nasty mailers in the last few weeks also hurt him in the north. But Tom’s staying on message and enhancing positivity and civility helped a ton.

The Blaydes & Oakley mailer that got mailed to Lakewood as well was a bad move. Blaydes doesn’t have pull in Lakewood. There also might be the matter of that forever burning LH-Lakewood rivalry, which I know about but can be explained better by my friends that live there.

Even though they both support the Trinity, Ed rubbed a lot of people the wrong way by appearing to not want to deviate at all from the Trinity Plan. At every debate, Ed acted like he knew-it-all and ‘how dare you question my super plans that I’ve put in place.’ Even if you do know all the numbers, people like to feel included.

Deciding to abandon debates in the last few days was the final self-inflicted blow. You never blow off the Ernie & Jay show if you want to get your message out and give your opponent a free ride.

From an issue standpoint, these were things that people really cared about…whether Ed’s supporters refuse to face it or not is up to them. Even in his last interview, Ed only mentioned his orientation as a factor and nothing else. That sounds like sour grapes.

Oakley’s campaign consultants continually misfired, they were his own worst enemy. I hope our opponents continue to hire MurphyTurner in the future!

Early on, I said I would work with whomever became Mayor for the good of the City. Let’s see if the other side shares that same feeling. Right now, most of them seem bitter and unwilling to face facts.

OK, got that out. Now let’s move forward.

June 16, 2007

We Won

Thanks to the voters of Dallas, Tom Leppert is your next Mayor.

Now, we have work to do.

Congrats to Dave Neumann and Carolyn Davis, as as they move into their new positions at City Council.

June 15, 2007

One Last Word before Tomorrow’s Election

You know I never steer you wrong. Even before I had this blog, I’ve been reaching out to let people know which candidates to support and why.

I’ll give you Tom in his own words (link). You can view my articles and various interviews and debates (link). And then go vote tomorrow. It’s that simple.

If you’re sick of the bickering at City Hall, candidates that send out nasty mailers that are full of lies and don’t focus on the issues…and you want someone to lead the City instead of micro-manage things to their own benefit, then vote for Tom Leppert. A vote for Tom is a vote for a fresh start at City Hall.

Here’s all the info you need to vote in Dallas:

*Check on your registration – You can view your ballot ahead of time (link)

*Check your registration by address – You can view your ballot ahead of time (link)

*Demonstration of Touch Screen Voting Machine (Flash player required) (link)

*Services Available to Voters with Special Needs in Texas (link)

*League of Women Voters’ Online Voters Guide – runoff edition (link)

June 14, 2007

Ed Oakley Doesn’t Care about Poor People

Yesterday, Oakley voted to allow Trammell Crow (big donors to his campaign) to tear down TimberCreek which is at the intersection of Northwest Highway and Skillman (map).

(note: be sure to read the readers’ comments at the end of this post)

Jim Schutze wrote an article for the Dallas Observer (link), which talks about Oakley’s apartment plan. It’s a telling read.

The EPA’s study said such an approval to rip out the trees and fill in the creek would ruin one of the most beautiful riparian areas in Dallas. But I guess that wasn’t enough for him to vote against it. Also, there are about 2,000 residents that would be displaced.

While Oakley claims he is pro-environment, yesterday he voted to let Trammell Crow take out more than 1,000 large trees and a creek and fill it with a 25-foot layer of fill sand so they can make more money. This is not surprising, since Oakley gets most of his campaign money from big developers that stand to profit from his teardown plan.

Oakley always talks big about relocation packages for displaced tenants. He let Trammell Crow get away with a measly $150-225 per apartment moving allowance. Anyone who’s moved in the past 5 years knows that $200 barely covers the deposit and a two-bedroom move costs $500. These folks now have to move in a couple of months and scramble to find schools for their kids.

As Rasansky spoke to this heinous development, people from Trammell Crow were laughing and he called them out for it. I guess it’s funny to kick people out of their homes with no money.

Rasansky said that developers have the right to build, but there is a moral compass that should guide everyone’s life.

Ed Oakley sat silent. And voted to kick these people out of their homes with spare change to move and filled in one of the most beautiful areas in Dallas with a 25-feet deep layer of sand. He wouldn’t even consider a plan for Crow to build around the trees. I guess he was busy looking at his screensaver, which is a picture of himself (does anybody else do that? It weirded me out).

This is what I’ve told you about Oakley the whole time. Even if you can stomach the nasty mailers, WATCH THE VOTES! That’s when the real Oakley shows.

Jim’s article has a couple of interesting quotes, here’s one of them.

Then I talked to another lifelong Democrat who is a serious environmentalist. She said, “Oakley is the worst disaster for the environment who has ever served on the city council.”

Oakley proved true on this assessment yesterday at Council.

Kudos to Mitch Rasansky and Angela Hunt for doing the right thing and voting no.

June 14, 2007

Nastiest Race Ever

A lot of things have made me really angry about this Mayoral race. I’ll have much more to say on this topic after the election.

June 11, 2007

Eminent Domain Encounters of the Worst Kind

Jack Pierce, Owner of Hollywood Overhead Doors, talks about how Ed Oakley tried to use City Council power to take his land and business. He was compelled to cut an audio ad warning you about what could happen to your business or personal property if Oakley is elected Mayor.

This story was chronicled in the Dallas Observer, DallasArena, and many other places.

Click link to listen to Jack Pierce (may take a few seconds to load).

June 9, 2007

Jody Dean on Tom Leppert

From the blog of Jody Dean, former Dallas news anchor:

One of the nicest things about no longer being a “news anchor” is that I’m free to wantonly impose my opinion regarding any subject I choose. That, and I no longer have to wear a tie.

Of course, all “journalists” have opinions about everything. It’s just that they have to pretend they don’t while you’re watching. The best journalists actually manage to put those views aside in the interest of facts and information.

Being no longer encumbered by those restrictions, we frequently get into all kinds of subjects each morning.

Well, here’s an opinion I hadn’t counted on giving: the next mayor of Dallas needs to be Tom Leppert.

Ed Oakley doesn’t deserve your vote. Why?

Well for one, Oakley’s new TV commercial is one of the nastiest things I’ve ever seen. The guy is widely regarded as a sleazeball.

Here’s but one example of that view:

And here’s another:

Beyond an apparent disregard for the facts on the part of the Oakley campaign, here are some other reasons:

1. If ever a city needed a mindset geared toward planned, vigorous development, it’s Dallas. Leppert represents a good opportunity to establish some real, job-attracting ideas and initiatives for south Dallas. Oakley doesn’t.

2. Dallas needs a leader who can rally the troops and think big. It doesn’t need another petty politician who thinks only of how to get votes – honestly or otherwise.

3. I can envision Leppert sitting across from a Boeing or a Comerica and talking his peers into making Dallas their new corporate home. I can’t say the same thing for Oakley.

4. I believe Leppert remembers his roots, and that empathy for others of similar station will make him work for those citizens just as hard as he might for those of influence – regardless of whether they support him or not. Oakley seems interested only in that which make his opponents look worse.

Look – I don’t live in Dallas, and I don’t vote there. But I do work there, and I’m proud of the city. I’ve lived next to it for half a century, been working in it now for a quarter of a century, and I’ve seen politicians of every type come and go. I could care less about party affiliation, especially when it comes to City Hall. The question for me is always “what will you do if you get elected?” Not – as seems to be the case with Oakley – “to what lengths will you go to get elected?”

And by the way – if Oakley wants to selectively recount the record on Leppert’s Turner Construction, he might want to pause for a moment. Guilt by association is a two-edged sword.

Using that thinking, one could easily say that because Oakley was present downtown when Dallas blew its chance to land the Cowboys, he shares blame for the team’s flight to Arlington.

And for the city’s explosive crime rate.

And for a southern sector economy too beholden to bars and pawn shops rather than industry and housing.

And for city leadership unable or unwilling to hold fast to a Trinity River Project as approved by voters.

And years of languishing inaction over a homeless center.

And on and on.

Just a thought.

Of course, that would take a television commercial that (slightly) mischaracterizes Oakley’s record – something that Leppert has resisted, at least thus far.

Pity. I might like to see Oakley’s reaction to such an ad.

June 1, 2007

WFAA Mayoral Debate

I already have the entire mayoral debate that was on on Friday night. I figured I’d take it easy on them until they can air it on Sunday.

I’ll just leave you with this one clip for now:

Leppert responds to Oakley being happy that they almost have enough officers…

June 1, 2007

Oakley Lies about Tom Leppert Hit Job Website

Avi at quoted Ed Oakley’s interview with Chris Heinbaugh, when Oakley was asked if he knew about the Truth about tom website:

Oakley denied any knowledge of the details about the website or the television commercial tied to it. In a News8 interview with Chris Heinbaugh (Gloves come off in Dallas mayoral race), Oakley tried to pass the commercial off as not that big a deal…

Oakley was asked whether his commercial hits below the belt. “You know what? I didn’t put the ad together, and… I don’t know, Chris,” Oakley said. “That’s an issue… it’s one of… I don’t know.”

HOWEVER, during his online webchat (link) at the DMN editors’ blog on Thursday Oakley suggests people check out his new website. The quotes:

The advertising I have emphasizes issues are completely properly part of the discussion…For more information go to

Look at the end of the blog post…who wrote it?

May 31, 2007 2:26 PM | Ed Oakley (More) | Respond | Permalink

He also claimed that the Trinity tollroad shouldn’t go down Industrial because of the “landowners than have been down there for 30 years.” Aka the ones who donated a ton of money to his campaign and who’s number one goal according to their website is:

The (Trinity) Association is now poised to take action with regards to three new targets: 1. The election of Councilman Ed Oakley to be Mayor of Dallas.

This week, he wants to fight for the “landowners that have been down there for 30 years.” Last week, he wanted to take the land of a family that had been there for 50 years (link).

Now who’s the liar?

May 30, 2007

Tom Leppert on Oakley’s Crime Plan and Leadership

On the DMN blog today, Tom Leppert did a 1-hour Q & A chat. Here’s his answer on Oakley’s crime plan:

First of all, the mayor does not have the power to tear down apartments. Ed Oakley’s plan is really just providing tax payer funded incentives and benefits to developers.

Also, we need to understand that tearing down the apartments does not get the criminals off of our streets – it just relocates them.

on leadership…


Having sat down in face-to-face meetings yesterday with both you and your opponent, I was struck by the different ways you answered a question of mine. I asked what ideas you had heard on the campaign trail from your opponents that you might act on if you won. You gave several examples of ideas from others that you’d like to see put in place. But your opponent more or less dodged this question, saying that all the ideas ARE in place and we just need the right person to implement them. He thinks he’s the right person, given his city hall experience. He seemed to imply to me that tossing new ideas onto the table might distract from what we’re currently working on…How do you respond?

Answer by Leppert:

I hope everyone notices how fast the world changes today … anyone who assumes that you can use old ideas … not changing, not adapting, not seeking new and better ways to adapt to the changes … has simply not been in leadership positions that demand changes, flexibility, creativity and an ability to constantly change to meet the changes that take place minute by minute …. that is really what leadership is all about

More importantly, this also says that the style of leadership will not seek to involve others … others from different backgrounds, different perspectives, and ones that may not have been a part of the process when the “plan” was first developed

We will encounter challenges and problems in the next four years that none of us can see today … that’s simply the nature of the world … if we do not respond and adapt … lead … we are destined to fall behind cities that have the leadership that do

Leppert also addressed the $6 million lawsuit from the US Navy, a question that I previously raised on this blog:

This is an example of leadership that I am proud of. There was no indictment. The situations on the billings occurred before I joined the company (even the Dallas Observer recognizes this). As soon as I became aware of the situation I ordered a complete investigation by an outside law firm. I then had them take the results and sit down with the government to right the billings.

Everyone involved recgonized that this was exactly the way to handle the situation. If I am mayor I will always do the right thing – and this was the right thing to do.